The Effects Of Stress On Your Body
Stress can be normal, especially that it is already part of our daily lives. When you experience stress, a part of your brain, specifically the hypothalamus reacts, allowing the release of stress hormones. Stress hormones are the same hormones that make you sense the fight or flight response of your body.
When you are threatened, stressed, or having an intense emotion, you will feel that your heart is beating fast, as your heart rate increases. Your breath also becomes faster, your muscles start to shake, and for some, it leads to uncontrollable shedding of tears.
Chronic stress can affect your body, both in terms of your physical health and mental health. If left untreated or unmanaged, it may result in consistent irritability, anxiety disorder, depression or major depressive disorder, insomnia, headache, back pain, shoulder pain, diarrhea, constipation, stomachache, and nausea and vomiting.
For some, stress is diverted to overeating, substance abuse , as well as social withdrawal. It can even lead to certain illnesses and serious health conditions like high blood pressure, stroke, heart attack, type 2 diabetes, heartburn or acid reflux, erectile dysfunction for males, and irregular, heavier, or more painful menstruation for females.
Learn To Avoid Procrastination
Another way to take control of your stress is to stay on top of your priorities and stop procrastinating.
Procrastination can lead you to act reactively, leaving you scrambling to catch up. This can cause stress, which negatively affects your health and sleep quality .
Get in the habit of making a to-do list organized by priority. Give yourself realistic deadlines and work your way down the list.
Work on the things that need to get done today and give yourself chunks of uninterrupted time, as switching between tasks or multitasking can be stressful itself.
Prioritize what needs to get done and make time for it. Staying on top of your to-do list can help ward off procrastination-related stress.
Yoga has become a popular method of stress relief and exercise among all age groups.
While yoga styles differ, most share a common goal to join your body and mind.
Yoga primarily does this by increasing body and breath awareness.
Some studies have examined yogas effect on mental health. Overall, research has found that yoga can enhance mood and may even be as effective as antidepressant drugs at treating depression and anxiety .
However, many of these studies are limited, and there are still questions about how yoga works to achieve stress reduction.
In general, the benefit of yoga for stress and anxiety seems to be related to its effect on your nervous system and stress response.
How To Reach Out For Depression Support
Look for support from people who make you feel safe and cared for. The person you talk to doesnt have to be able to fix you they just need to be a good listenersomeone wholl listen attentively and compassionately without being distracted or judging you.
Make face-time a priority. Phone calls, social media, and texting are great ways to stay in touch, but they dont replace good old-fashioned in-person quality time. The simple act of talking to someone face to face about how you feel can play a big role in relieving depression and keeping it away.
Try to keep up with social activities even if you dont feel like it. Often when youre depressed, it feels more comfortable to retreat into your shell, but being around other people will make you feel less depressed.
Find ways to support others. Its nice to receive support, but research shows you get an even bigger mood boost from providing support yourself. So find waysboth big and smallto help others: volunteer, be a listening ear for a friend, do something nice for somebody.
Care for a pet. While nothing can replace the human connection, pets can bring joy and companionship into your life and help you feel less isolated. Caring for a pet can also get you outside of yourself and give you a sense of being neededboth powerful antidotes to depression.
10 tips for staying connected
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Take Action: Get Active
Regular physical activity can help prevent and manage stress. It can also help relax your muscles and improve your mood. So get active:
- Aim for 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity try going for a bike ride or taking a walk
- Do strengthening activities like push-ups or lifting weights at least 2 days a week
Remember, any amount of physical activity is better than none!
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Lifestyle Factors That Affect Mood
When you have depression, you can find ways to take control of your life and manage your treatment even beyond medications. Making some lifestyle changes can boost your mood and help alleviate many of your symptoms, including low self-esteem. “Minimizing stress as much as possible is a good idea when you’re depressed, especially unnecessary or avoidable stressors that people can be pulled into when they’re depressed,” says Erik Nelson, MD, a psychiatrist and assistant professor of clinical psychiatry at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine in Ohio.
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Depression: How To Manage Stress And Anxiety
Depression is one of the most common mental disorders worldwide. According to the World Health Organization , an average of 850,000 people die from depression each year. Depressive disorder significantly affects about 163 million people in 2017. This is a severe disorder that has a great impact on mental, physical health, life functions and even pleasure. This article will give some tips that help you effectively manage stress and anxiety.
Stop The Negative Self
Depressed people tend to see the world in a negative way. When things go wrong, they blame themselves, and when they go right, they put it down to luck. Depression reinforces self-doubt and feelings of worthlessness.
Monitor your inner negative talk and make allowances for this type of thinking by reminding yourself that your thinking is being clouded by your depression. Dont take your thoughts seriously when you are feeling low. Acknowledge the thoughts, but this doesnt mean you have to believe them.
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Why Is Stress Helpful
Historically, stress was our friend. It acted as a protective mechanism that warned us of danger a natural reaction that told us when to run. This response is now referred to as the fight or flight response, or the stress response. When your evolutionary ancestors saw a saber-toothed cat and ran from it, stress saved their life.
Stress has remained part of the evolutionary drive because of its usefulness in survival. When used at the right time, stress increases our awareness and improves physical performance in short bursts .
Don’t Suffer In Silence
Get support, whether from family, friends, your academic advisor, campus counseling center, or a trusted online community. A heart-to-heart talk with someone you trust can help you get rid of toxic feelings and may even give you a fresh perspective.
If these steps don’t bring relief, or if you are still unable to cope and feel as if the stress is affecting how you function every day, it could be something more acute and chronic–like depression. Don’t let it go unchecked!
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Do Something You Enjoy
Depression can push you to give into your fatigue. It may feel more powerful than happy emotions.
Try to push back and do something you love something thats relaxing, but energizing. It could be playing an instrument, painting, hiking, or biking.
These activities can provide subtle lifts in your mood and energy, which may help you overcome your symptoms.
Research suggests people who spend time in nature have improved mental health.
Exposure to sunlight may offer some of the same benefits. It can increase your serotonin levels, which can provide a temporary mood boost .
Consider taking a walk at lunch among the trees or spending some time in your local park. Or plan a weekend hike. These activities can help you reconnect with nature and soak in some rays at the same time.
Enjoy The Emotional Benefits Of Exercise
Exercise offers physiological benefits that can help people going through depression. Physical activity relieves stress and can make you feel great. Plus, the satisfaction you get from finishing an engaging and challenging workout can boost your self-esteem as you get stronger and more physically fit. When you fight depression with a regular exercise routine, youll feel better emotionally and physically.
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Getting Help For Depression
If you think you might be depressed, take a depression screening. Print out the results or e-mail them to yourself and then show them to a counselor or doctor.
To get help, start with your student health center or counseling service on campus. Most community colleges provide limited free mental health services and can refer you to local providers for longer-term treatment. You can also talk to your family doctor. Your local Mental Health America affiliate can refer or in some cases provide services as well. To find the nearest MHA affiliate, call 800-969-6642 or go to Find An Affiliate.
Remember, depression and other mental health conditions are nothing to be ashamed of. Depression is not a sign of weakness, and seeking help is a sign of strength. Telling someone you are struggling is the first step toward feeling better. You will need the help of a mental health professional to beat depression. Talk therapy, antidepressant medication or a combination can be very effective.
In crisis? If you or someone you know is in crisis now, seek help immediately. Call 1-800-273-TALK to reach a 24-hour crisis center or dial 911 for immediate assistance.
What The Expert Says
A depressed person is compromised in dealing with problematic situations, says Stacey Stickley, a licensed professional counselor practicing in Ashburn, Virginia. When a person is dealing with depression, things may seem more negative than they really are. Events that would have been taken in stride may seem more problematic or impossible to handle. The idea of taking action on things may require more of a persons resources, resources that are already compromised due to the depression.
Talk to your doctor about pharmacological options, or go talk to a counselor about evaluating and managing your symptoms, she says. Dont wait. Being proactive is important so you can maybe stop the downward slide sooner. Its easier to climb out of a shallow hole than one you have been slowly digging and tunneling into for several months.
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Consult A Healthcare Professional
If you experience stress and depression, the first thing you should do is contact a health care professional. Schedule an appointment with a practitioner who specializes in mental health, such as a psychologist or counselor. Your general practitioner can recommend a provider if needed. The mental health specialist may recommend that you participate in weekly therapy sessions to learn how to deal with stress and depression. A specialist can help by teaching you to identify sources of stress in your life. For instance, some people tend to take on too many responsibilities. Therapy sessions are beneficial because you will learn how to say âno,â new coping skills and how to engage in more positive thinking. The health care provider may also recommend that you see a psychiatrist, a doctor who can prescribe medications for mental health problems. Take your medication as prescribed. It may take several weeks for them to begin to work. Alert your doctor if you experience any bothersome side effects, such as dizziness, headaches or nausea.
Encouraging The Person To Get Help
While you cant control someone elses recovery from depression, you can start by encouraging the depressed person to seek help. Getting a depressed person into treatment can be difficult. Depression saps energy and motivation, so even the act of making an appointment or finding a doctor can seem daunting to your loved one. Depression also involves negative ways of thinking. The depressed person may believe that the situation is hopeless and treatment pointless.
Because of these obstacles, getting your loved one to admit to the problemand helping them see that it can be solvedis an essential step in depression recovery.
If your friend or family member resists getting help:
Suggest a general check-up with a physician. Your loved one may be less anxious about seeing a family doctor than a mental health professional. A regular doctors visit is actually a great option, since the doctor can rule out medical causes of depression. If the doctor diagnoses depression, they can refer your loved one to a psychiatrist or psychologist. Sometimes, this professional opinion makes all the difference.
Offer to help the depressed person find a doctor or therapist and go with them on the first visit.Finding the right treatment provider can be difficult, and is often a trial-and-error process. For a depressed person already low on energy, it is a huge help to have assistance making calls and looking into the options.
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How Can Exercise Help With Depression And Anxiety
It is a common truth that exercise is a general cure for almost everything depression and anxiety are not left out. One of the symptoms common in both anxiety and depression is tiredness and fatigue, and the last thing you would want to think about in such a state is exercise. However, exercise has been proven to be beneficial in preventing and improving certain health problems like diabetes, arthritis, hypertension, arthritis, etc. Exercise is beneficial not just for physical health but also for psychological health, as they help reduce anxiety and improve the state of mind. Exercise helps to improve the mood, make you feel better, and relieve mental stress.
During exercise, the body releases endorphins, a feel-good chemical produced in the body that helps enhance ones sense of well-being. Exercise also helps one take the mind off negative thoughts and worries, which are the common symptoms of depression and anxiety. Rather than using the negative coping mechanism to break through from anxiety and depression, exercise is a healthy coping mechanism beneficial to the mind and body. Exercise also helps build self-confidence when you meet your exercise goals and look good in terms of body shape and appearance.
Know That There Is Ease After Every Hardship
Allah has promised in the Quran that every hardship will be followed by ease, so as Mufti Menk says, try to put your trust in His promise and dont lose hope. For more inspiring quotes, check out these 50 Inspirational Mufti Menk Quotes and Sayings with Images.
Also, watch this short video in which Mufti Menk explains why we get depressed?
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How To Help Someone With Depression And Anxiety
This article was co-authored by Liana Georgoulis, PsyD. Dr. Liana Georgoulis is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist with over 10 years of experience, and is now the Clinical Director at Coast Psychological Services in Los Angeles, California. She received her Doctor of Psychology from Pepperdine University in 2009. Her practice provides cognitive behavioral therapy and other evidence-based therapies for adolescents, adults, and couples.There are 7 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been viewed 26,190 times.
Depression and anxiety can greatly impact peoples lives and leave them feeling isolated and unable to cope with daily life. Its difficult to see someone you care about struggling with mental health problems and not know how to help. Some of the best help you can offer is by being present in this persons life and showing that you care.
Whats The Difference Between Stress And Anxiety
While many people frequently use stress and anxiety interchangeably, the two terms actually have different meanings. While the above tips can help with both, understanding what each term means is important so you can identify whether other resources and options may be helpful to you. Stress and anxiety are both negative emotional experiences that can cause chaos in your life. Stress is your bodys reaction to changes and challenging situations, and it occurs when you believe you dont have the ability to cope with the demands placed on you. Everyone can get stressed. Stress can trigger anxiety, which everyone can experience as well. But some people will have more than just anxious moments. Those who have anxiety disorders have excessive and persistent worries and fears, even in situations that are not going poorly and are not threatening. Anxiety disorders are the most common mental health illnesses in the United States, with approximately 18 percent of the adult population living with one or more types of anxiety disorders. If you think you may be struggling with anxiety, consider taking a mental health screen. It can be the first step to learning more about and improving your mental health.
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How To Practice Focused Meditation
Here are six tips to help you practice focused meditation. Based on your availability and interest, these tips may change and evolve. Thats the point: to create a structured practice that caters to your needs.
1. Find a Comfortable Seat
As with any meditation practice, comfort is truly key. The physical body responds to meditation practice by alerting you to whether it is comfortable and supported or stressed out and in pain. This is best observed in practitioners who tend to slouch and lose the tall, supported spine that is essential to meditation practice.
A simple rule in meditative sitting is to ensure that your hips are higher than your knees. Therefore, choosing to sit in a chair instead of on the floor may be a smart decision or perhaps propping yourself up on a cushion. For meditation techniques overall, it does not matter how you sit. All that matters is that you are supported and comfortable sitting for some time.
2. Choose Your Object of Focus
Every meditation training session is going to be different because no single day is the same for any one person. Therefore, experienced meditators know that choosing an object is more about listening to what you need at this time versus following any doctrine or rule.
3. Set Your Desired Time or Go With the Flow
Likewise, if you have the time, you can also listen to your body and come out of your meditation when you feel its right to do so. This is often a beautiful practice of listening and tuning in.